UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 01 July 2015 14:00
No more delays for airport expansion, says FSB
The Airports Commission led by Sir Howard Davies today recommended Heathrow airport expansion. It’s now up to the politicians to deliver it.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) submitted the views of our membership into the Airports Commission and informed his recommendations. We welcome his support for enhanced public service obligation routes and measures to make sure the benefits of expansion are felt beyond London and the South East.
Today the FSB calls on Ministers to follow through on their promises and make a bold and swift decision. They now have the evidence and the opportunity to end decades of inaction that has constrained economic growth.
Airport capacity is crucial to the UK economy. We need it for Britain to remain open for business and give a much needed boost to trade, investment and economic growth right across the UK. We trade up to twenty times more with countries where we have a direct air link. The FSB was clear in its submission that freight capacity would be an important consideration in the decision and this was also recognised in today’s report.
John Allan, FSB National Chairman, said:
“After much consultation and analysis the Airports Commission has recommended expansion at Heathrow as the best option for the UK. With the decision in, there must not be any further excuses or delays. To do so is to put the long-term economic health of the UK at risk. All the options under consideration had their advantages, but it’s clear that the business and wider economic case for Heathrow proved decisive. The tremendous benefits in terms of growth and jobs are clear.
“We are pleased the report has taken into account the growth impact on the rest of the country, making a number of helpful suggestions to ensure benefits of airport expansion are felt in regions beyond London and the South East. Davies has also suggested a number of safeguards that should minimise the environmental impact of expansion on the local area. Although this option could present greater political challenges, Ministers must not use this as an excuse for inaction.
“What this process has made clear is that we cannot continue to delay the big decisions on national infrastructure which simply holds back the ambitions of the country. New roads, broadband infrastructure, and improved regional and national transport links are vital to our future economic growth and wellbeing. A longer term transport strategy, which takes all modes of transport into account, is required to deliver this.”
Area Administrator - North & Midlands
The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK's largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self-employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, it now has around 200,000 members across 33 regions and 188 branches.
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